So Good Friday wasn’t how it ends. Just when all hope was lost, actually after the final buzzer, Jesus makes the final play that wins the day, wins the week, wins eternity for us. Jesus of Nazareth, the unlikely Messiah, has risen from the dead! So this is what He meant with His references to Jonah (returned to life after 3 days in the belly of the fish) or when He said he would rise again on the third day! God has achieved the impossible.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
So what does this mean for us? Here are some powerful implications that come to mind.
Death is defeated! But shouldn’t this mean that we no longer die? Well, since we still live in a fallen and broken world, we are going to continue to deal with the pain of loss from death. And Jesus obviously passed through death to get to eternal life, so there’s our answer. Anyone who has accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour (and no other criteria) will live forever with our loving God, but we still must pass through death to get there.
God is worthy of our trust–here is yet another confirmation that God is trustworthy. Jesus promised that He would rise again from the dead. A tough promise to keep (by our standards), but He did.
Love wins over evil–through Good Friday and Holy Saturday, it would have been natural to think that the forces of darkness of this world had won the final victory over God by orchestrating events to get Jesus executed. But in fact it was God who achieved victory in the most unexpected way. Now it’s time for the forces of darkness to realize they’ve lost. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to take down as many people with them as they can until Jesus returns. If you spend even a few minutes watching the news, it would be easy to forget that the ending has already been determined. But we know better.
The Power of God is resurrecting us–the same power of God that brought Jesus back from the dead is available to us, living in us, making us new if we’ll let Him. We all have brokenness and we’ll never be just like Jesus, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to be more Christ-like. The Holy Spirit will help us with that. How would we live our daily lives if we were absolutely certain God’s power resides in us? What would we do differently? How and when and where would we take a bolder stance against evil when we encounter it?
With God, nothing is impossible–but we have to keep in mind that knowing God can do anything doesn’t mean He will do what we want in our timing, or at all. God has plans for us that are always better than what we contrive for ourselves. We may pray for a certain spouse or job or other sort of outcome, but God might have something entirely different in mind that works out better for us. Unanswered prayers–rather, our perception of unanswered prayers–is a good topic for another blog, so stay tuned for that.
No fear–knowing that God has defeated death by bringing Jesus back from the dead, what is there to be afraid of? I don’t want to downplay the very real storms happening or brewing in this world and our lives, and we should do all we can to help solve problems for our family, neighbors, communities, and the world (that may be why God put us where we are at this moment in time). However, in spite of the worries of this world, we should know beyond a doubt that our eternal destination was determined the moment we accepted Christ, and that the problems of this life will fade away once we step through death’s doorway to meet our Saviour face-to-face and spend eternity with Him. Not to mention our loved ones who have gone before us and are fellow believers. And of course, our dogs. The Apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
A happy ending gives us a new beginning–Jesus’ resurrection punctuates His earthly ministry with a happy, surprise ending. But this is really the beginning for us. Now it’s our turn to bring His love to a hurting world, to feed and care for our neighbors and people on the other side of the globe. We may face persecution for this as Jesus did, but if we do, let’s make sure it’s because we are acting like Jesus and not because we are misbehaving due to our own misguided interpretations of manmade rules (see my previous blog about not judging others).
So that’s it. I hope you had a blessed Resurrection Day. Let us go forth and live our lives remembering that He is risen. I’ll leave you with these words from Moses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)